THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 484, September 7, 2008
"Barry Obomber and Insane McCain"
"The Federalist Fusion Alliance"
Special to The Libertarian Enterprise
Ron Paul can be elected President of the united States without appearing on a single State ballot. The People of the united States do not elect their President, Electors do.
For decades "third partisans" and libertarians have labored in the shadow of Demoblican oligarchy. Laws have been written and rewritten to advantage the insider parties at every turn. After excruciating months of just struggling to get on the ballot, we often find ourselves wrung out, strung out, and left out. Whenever we are even mentioned it is generally couched in such terms as "quixotic," "gadfly," "long shot," or "maverick". (Oh waitthis year "maverick" has been rehabilitated.) Nevertheless, "third party" moves are seen by the old media as annoying distractions or amusing side shows. When faced with a spectrum of options Dr Paul chose to work with and within the Republican Party. To good effect, I believe. His inclusion on the scene has energized the liberty movement like never since 1964, at least, and perhaps longer.
We are now facing down the final two months of this harrowing campaign, and Dr Paul's legions of supporters are as eager as ever to push past the finish line.
On 4 September, the "Louisiana Taxpayers Party" filed a slate of Electors with the Secretary of State's office. The Electors are pledged to Ron Paul and Barry Goldwater Jr. On 5 September, the Constitution Party of Montana informed their Secretary of State that its Electors are pledged to Ron Paul and Michael Peroutka. It is my understanding that Dr Paul was aware of these developments and has stated that so long as he is not obliged to comment, nor sign any declaration of candidacy, then he has no objection.
Election and ballot access laws vary from State to State, so these heroic efforts may not be possible all over the Union, but there remains no prohibition for a candidate to release his Electors and request that they vote for Dr Paul in December at the gathering of the Electoral College. That's when the REAL presidential election takes place!
There has been tremendous buzz on the net on the issue of when or whether or how Dr Paul will endorse Chuck Baldwin or Bob Barr since he is no longer available as our Republican nominee. Messieurs Baldwin and Barr have their own particular detractors and proponents, but they both endorsed Dr Paul earlier in this cycle, and both intimated that he should accept the nomination of their respective parties. He has determined to stay with the Republican Party as that is the vehicle that first put him in the House of Representatives and then later put him in the national spotlight. He is presently a candidate for re-election in Texas' 14th district, and since, one, he is the incumbent, and two, he has no Democrat (aka "media approved") opponent, then I think his re-election can safely be considered a foregone conclusion. That's true only so long as he retains his Republican credentials.
Dr Paul has repeatedly stated that he has no intention of seeking the nomination of a "third party," but also never said that he would resist if such a distinction were thrust upon him. He knows as well as you that this revolution is bigger than any party or any man. And it goes on.
Many have their doubts about the intentions of Bob Barr or Chuck Baldwin, and I can probably dig up a few disagreements of my own, but at base I suspect that they are both honorable men who sincerely saw in Ron Paul the best hope for Restoring the Republic in the immediate future. In that regard, I believe that nothing has changed.
For all our talk of supporting Dr Paul and being loyal Constitutionalists, why don't we try re-reading the Constitution sometime and notice that Dr Paul can be elected President without appearing on a single State ballot? Well, that ship has sailed, but the argument still holds. Montana and Louisiana patriots are already jumping into the general election to capture their Electors for the revolution.
I have been associated with the Libertarian Party since 1976, and saw no compelling reason to jump ship until Dr Paul's Republican run for the White House, so I probably and not surprisingly have an inclination to vote for Bob Barr this autumn. However, if my State does not permit a ballot switch to put The Good Doctor's name up, and Baldwin, Barr, and Paul all agree that my State shows more Constitution Party strength than Libertarian and that all libertarians here should vote for Chuck Baldwin, then I will do so without hesitation.
While the Libertarian and Constitution Parties are largely in agreement, there are significant differences and they each have played to different strengths in different States.
I am delighted by the news that Messieurs Paul, Barr, and Baldwin are meeting with the press on the 10th of this month, and hope that what is being billed as a "Major Announcement" will consist of these points I've already made, and go further to declare the Federalist Fusion Alliancean agreement between the Barr campaign, the Baldwin campaign, and numerous State parties to direct their Electors to vote for Ron Paul for President and Sarah Palin for Vice-President. Okeh, I know many of you have problems with Mrs Palin, and I am not deaf to your cries, but I do recall that she's said nice things about Ron Paul and he's said nice things about her, so it shouldn't be a totally unreasonable suggestion. Naturally I would have no objection to anyone else being chosen, assuming she or he meets Dr Paul's essential criteria. I will continue to use her name throughout this rant for expository purposes, and also because I am personally keen on her. For the past year she has been my number pick for Veep, so I've been feeling a little vindicated these days by Senator McCain's surprising good sense. She was an intermittent stoner in the eighties, a Buchanan backer in the nineties, and a Paul fan in the naughties. Also, I'm cynical enough to want to use all the positive buzz she's been generating in the last week. No surfer ever rode to victory by fighting the ocean.
I have done a cursory analysis of vote totals for Libertarian, Constitution, and Green Party candidates in the 2000 and 2004 elections in all fifty-one Electoral jurisdictions, even attempting to correct for the Nader effect in 2000, when he ran as a Green. The analysis has yielded an indication of where the relative strengths lay for each party, and I have compared those data to actual ballot status (per Ballot Access News, effective 5 September) and I've broken it down as follows:
Assuming that no other States than Montana and Louisiana permit such convenient and clear ballot editing, then I recommend that Bob Barr withdraw from the ballot (where permitted), or simply urge his followers to support Chuck Baldwin in Arkansas, Massachusetts, Mississippi, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia. That's 6 States for Baldwin, for a possible Electoral total of 43. Furthermore, I recommend that Barr and Baldwin both withdraw from and/or suggest that their followers support Cynthia McKinney's Green candidacy in the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, and Rhode Island. (That's red meat, I know, and I'll get back to it, I promise. In the meantime, please hear me out.) That would be 4 jurisdictions for McKinney, for a possible electoral total of 15.
This brings me to New Hampshire, easily one of the top five most liberty friendly States in the Union. What to do about George Phillies? Well, if he is as sincerely passionate about wanting to rescue America from statist oppression as he's led us to believe, then I would expect him to get on board with the Campaign for Liberty. If so, then I suggest that Baldwin and Barr both withdraw from that race as well, leaving New Hampshire's 4 Electors to him to deliver to Paul/Palin.
Oklahoma is another problem State, having some of the toughest ballot access barriers in the Union. This one we'll have to leave to "Write-in Paul/Palin." Write-in campaigns are even harder than "third party" runs, but we just don't have the time to address Oklahoma's core issues. This is reality as it exists now. That's 1 State with 7 Electors.
For all remaining States not mentioned above, my recommendation is that Chuck Baldwin withdraw and urge his supporters to vote for Dr Paul by supporting the Bob Barr candidacy in their particular States. That's 37 States for Barr, for a possible Electoral total of 457.
This seems heavily weighted in Bob Barr's favor, and I don't blame your being suspicious of my motives in suggesting this particular strategy, since I am a self-confessed Libertarian partisan. Really I'm trying to be objective here.
No, wait, some of you are still screaming about McKinney and the Greens. I am well aware that ideologically the Green Party is far removed from Libertarians and Constitutionalists. I hear constant remarks like "Marxists," "tree huggers," "enviro-loons," "watermelons," and what not, but this campaign is, I think, more about what we agree on than how much we disagree with our fellow-travelers, and believe me, when it comes to strangling electoral impediments and bait-and-switch petitioning requirements, written by Demoblicans to serve Demoblican interests, the GREENS ARE OUR ALLIES. Besides, those four jurisdictions are all heavily (and almost overwhelmingly) left of center. They went strongly Democommunist in 2000 and 2004. This year's challenge is already big enough, our resources are limited, and we must choose our battles wisely. Let Ms McKinney inflict all the damage she can on the Obama-maniacs in these little enclaves of state-worship. We'll liberate them anon.
Back to Barr. Am I favoring Barr because I'm a lifelong Libertarian? No. The fact is that the Libertarian Party is older, more firmly established, and has demonstrated consistently better electoral success than the Constitution Party has, both in its present incarnation and as its previously styled "U.S. Taxpayers' Party." Yes, the Cons HAVE surged ahead of the Libs in some areas, and my analysis reflects that, and hence the assignments I've outlined.
Also, it is critical that we have a marketable spokes model for the Presidential debates. If Barr and Baldwin evenly split the remaining States after Phillies, McKinney, and the various Paul/"Palins", then neither would command a potential Electoral majority, and both would more easily be dismissed. Chuck Baldwin is a good guy, and I believe he is sincere and qualified, but Bob Barr has a higher national profile, is a better and more dynamic speaker, and has a real record of electoral success (his spankin' by Libertarians notwithstanding). Again, as long as I don't have to compromise my principles, I have no qualms about surrendering to cynicism and opportunism. We have to fight with the weapons we have, not the weapons we want.
GentlemenMr Baldwin, Mr Barr, Dr Paulyou have to do the heavy lifting in this campaign, so it is naturally your call exactly how the Campaign will play out for the next eight weeks. I hope you will take my counsel under advisement.
Your mileage may vary.